The legendary coaching career of Bloomsburg University’s Jan Hutchinson came to an end at the 2010 NCAA Division II national softball championships on Saturday when the Huskies lost to Angelo State by a score of 5-4 in eight innings. The loss eliminated the Huskies from the tournament.
The game started well enough for the Huskies despite leaving the bases loaded in the top of the first inning. Nikki Shiko (Shamokin, Southern Columbia)was hit by a pitch to lead off the game and one out later went to second on a bunt by Lacy Mauro (Jersey Shore, Jersey Shore). After Sam Pientack (Archbald, Valley View)reached on an error by the third baseman to load the bases, Angelo State pitcher April Haywood retired the next two batters to end the threat.
Bloomsburg finally got on the board in the top of the fourth inning when Pientack crushed a home run to left field for a 1-0 Huskies lead. The Huskies made it 2-0 in the fifth when Shiko singled with one out, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Danielle Lazorka (Williamsport, Jersey Shore)and scored on a single by Mauro.
Angelo State rallied with two outs in the bottom of the fifth aided by some sloppy defensive play by Bloomsburg. With two out and runner on first the Rambelle’s Sarah DeMoss singled putting runners on first and second. Kaycee Taylor then followed with a single to right. The throw home was cut off by Shavaun Fisher (Coplay, Allentown Central Catholic), who turned and fired the ball wide of Mauro at the plate allowing a second run to score. On the next play, Lazorka bobbled a grounder and threw late to first putting runners at the corners. Kacie Easley was intentionally walked to load the bases. Amanda Wilhelm then singled home the third run and Brittany Astle walked with the bases loaded for the fourth run of the inning for Angelo State.
Bloomsburg rallied in the top of the sixth. Pientack homered to deep left center field off relief pitcher Chelsea Nelson. Mandy Koch (Dauphin, Central Dauphin) then just missed a homer to left as it hit off the fence. Fisher then doubled off the glove of the first baseman allowing pinch-runner Sinea Gallagher (Clarks Summit, Abington Heights) to score the tying run.
In the top of the seventh the Huskies threatened again getting two on with two outs, but Nelson got a strikeout to end the frame.
After the Huskies went in order in the top of the eighth, Easley, Angelo State’s top home run hitter during the year, drilled a pitch to left center ending the game and the Huskies hopes for a national title.
“It was a great game, but we made a mistake or two that cost us,” said Hutchinson. “There is no player to blame for a loss like this. We win together and we lose together. Today we lost.”
“This is a close knit group and they made it fun for me to come to practice each day,” Hutchinson continued. “I will really miss all of them.”
Pitcher Shavaun Fisher said she learned a lot from playing for Hutchinson. “I have played for a lot of coaches, but coach pushed me to be my best. I will miss her next year.”
Bloomsburg had advanced to the game with Angelo State by eliminating Molloy College of New York earlier in the day, 2-1, in nine innings.
Casey Massimini’s (Downingtown, Downingtown West) suicide squeeze bunt scored Mandy Leach from third base to give the Bloomsburg University softball team a 2-1 win over Molloy College at the NCAA Division II Softball College World Series in St. Joseph, MO.
With the scored tied at 1-1 in the top of ninth,Mandy Koch (Dauphin, Central Dauphin) walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Mandy Leach (Milford, Delaware Valley). Molloy then made a pitching change after a cut opened on the finger of the Lions pitcher Megan Butterworth. Bloomsburg pitcher Shavaun Fisher (Coplay, Allentown Central Catholic) then greeted Kelley Jansen with a singled to center moving Leach to second. Shen Debaro (Milton, Milton)then put down a perfect sacrifice bunt moving the runners up a base. Massimini then put down a perfect bunt with Leach sliding under the tag of the throw of the first baseman. Jansen escaped further damage getting a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Fisher got the first two outs before issuing a walk. However, the second team All-American got a pop out to second basemanDanielle Lazorka (Williamsport, Jersey Shore) to end the game.
The game was close through out with both teams managing just one hit through the first three inning and no runs. In the top of the fourth, Lazorka and Lacy Mauro (Jersey Shore, Jersey Shore) got consecutive singles to start the inning. After a strikeout, Koch walked to load the bases. Butterworth got a pop up to her for out number two before DeBaro worked a walk forcing in Lazorka with the game’s first run.
Molloy tied the game in the bottom of the sixth when with one out Jeana Frey singled, went to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Carla Campagna. The Lions did threaten in the bottom of the seventh inning getting lead off single, but Tiffany D’Alessandro lined into a double play to end the inning.
Bloomsburg coach Jan Hutchinson said the team was loose.
“We were more relaxed today,” said Hutchinson. “We were able to get some runners in scoring position and Casey (Massimini) did a great job getting the bunt down.”
The game also was the final one for Bloomsburg retiring coach Jan Hutchinson who ends her amazing career with a record of 1,215-288-2. Hutchinson led the Huskies to 28 straight NCAA championship appearances, including 11 championship round appearances.
As a team Bloomsburg finishes the 2010 season with a record of 50-8, the third time in school history the Huskies have won 50 or more games.
Photos Courtesy BU Sports Information